Kristel Kelly won the Installers' Choice award.
Kristel Kelly won the Installers' Choice award. Mike Richards GLA131018AWAD

GALLERY: Drought painting takes out art honours

A ROCKHAMPTON artist has won last night's overall Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Art Award.

Ainslie McMahon won with her painting Drought in the Lucky Country, winning $15,000 for her entry.

She said the award is a validation for her time and effort she spends on her craft.

"Felt very grateful and honoured to receive this prestigeous award," Ms McMahon said.

The artwork, as suggested by the title, is a story of resilience and hope of rejuvination during a time of drought, something Ainslie said everyone in Australia can relate to.

Gladstone artist Dee Egner won the Gail Sellers Local Artist Award, with her work called Penguin, receiving a $1,000 prize.

She was featured in 2011 as The Observer's Artist in Profile, where she said she only started painting in 2010.

Another Gladstone-based artist Kristel Kelly won $500, being picked as the Installer's Choice with her painting The wall in 'my' room.

She was surprised by the announcement of the award.

"I've been entering for this event since 2012," Ms Kelly said.

"I had been talking to the volunteers and the gallery workers for the last few days (of the event)...and none of them had given any inclination that they had voted for my piece,"

A full list of winners can be found on the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum's website.

The public can still take part with the QAL People's Choice Awards, by voting in four categories: easel paintings; works on paper; three dimensional & fibre works; and digital works.

Voting closes on November 28 at 5pm, with the winners being announced on December 4 at 11am.